The recent collapse of the government shows the depth of Israel’s political crisis
The fall of the short -lived Israeli government of Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid confirms the argument that the political crisis in Israel was not fully instigated and advocated by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Bennett’s coalition government is made up of eight parties, bringing together one of the most unique coalitions in Israel’s turbulent political history. The mishmash Cabinet includes right- and right -wing groups such as Yamina, Yisrael Beiteinu and New Hope, along with centrist Yesh Atid and Blue and White, the leftist Meretz and even an Arab party, the United Arab List (Ra’am) . The coalition also has representatives from the Labor Party, which was once Israel’s dominant political camp but is now almost completely unrelated.
When the coalition was formed in June 2021, Bennett was celebrated as a kind of political miracle-worker willing to save Israel from the grip of the stubborn, self-serving and corrupt Netanyahu.
Trust in Bennett’s government, however, has been placed elsewhere. The millionaire politician was a protégé of Netanyahu and even appeared to stand to the right of the Likud party leader on various issues. In 2013, Bennett proudly declared, “I’ve killed a lot of Arabs in my life – and there’s no problem there.” In 2014, he was highly critical of Netanyahu for failing to fulfill Israel’s goals in one of the deadliest wars in besieged Gaza. Moreover, Bennett’s main support comes from Israel’s strongest and most right -wing constituency.
Many want to ignore all of this in the hopes that Bennett will succeed in firing his former boss. That possibility became very real in November 2019, when Netanyahu was officially indicted in various serious corruption cases.
When the government of Bennett and Lapid was officially sworn in on June 13, 2021, a new era of Israeli politics seemed to begin. It is understood that Israel’s political camps have finally found their common denominator. Meanwhile, Netanyahu was exiled to the ranks of the opposition.
Some analysts continue to blame Netanyahu for various crises suffered by Bennett’s coalition, such as when Idit Silman resigned from his post on April 6, which removed the government with its majority in the Knesset. But there is little proof of this. Instead, the government has fallen under the weight of its own contradictions.
Will the actions of the government that led Israel between June 2021 and June 2022 be different if Netanyahu is still the prime minister? Not even. Illegal communities continue to grow unhindered, while home demolitions, the displacement of Palestinian communities in the West Bank and the occupation of Jerusalem, and various routine acts of Israeli aggression against its Arab state neighbors remained unchanged.
Experience shows us that, regardless of who rules Israel, the country’s political attitude, especially among Palestinians, remains unchanged.
According to UN data, 79 Palestinians were killed in the Occupied Territories of the Israeli army between June 2021 and May 2022. The Masafer Yatta region, a 36 sq km area in the southern Hebron Hills, is designated for total Israeli annexation. army. The eviction of 1,200 Palestinian residents in the area has already begun.
Regarding Jerusalem, specifically in the case of May’s so -called flag march, Bennett proved to be more extreme than Netanyahu. Author and professor Bernard Avishai wrote in The New Yorker last month that, in 2021, “the Netanyahu government will change the route of the march away from Damascus Gate to reduce the chance of violence,” while “change the government ” – a reference to Bennett’s coalition -” reverted to the route, and even allowed more than 2,000 national -Orthodox activists, including extremist national camp Knesset member Itamar Ben -Gvir, “to conduct their provocative “visits” to Al-Haram Al-Sharif, one of the holiest of Islam. sites.
This does not suggest that Netanyahu’s return following the scheduled election in November-Israel’s fifth general election in less than four years-will be a welcome development. Instead, experience shows us that, regardless of who rules Israel, the country’s political attitude, especially among Palestinians, remains unchanged.
True, Israeli politics is known to be unstable. This instability, however, has worsened over the past decades. Since 1996, Israel has held elections every 2.6 years. But since April 2019, the average has dramatically declined to less than a year per government. The long -standing argument is that Netanyahu’s dominance and polarizing attitude is to blame. The past year, however, has shown that Netanyahu is just a symptom of Israel’s political ills.
Some Israeli analysts suggest that Israel’s political crisis will only end when the country implements electoral and constitutional reforms. However, that would be a superficial fix; after all, most of Israel’s parliamentary and electoral laws have been in effect for many years, ever since the time governments were relatively stable.
For Israel to change, the current environment of incitement and war must be replaced by the language of peace and reconciliation. Israeli politicians, who are currently on fire, fighting for positions and feeding on the violent chanting of their supporters, need to be transformed into something else-a near impossible in the current hostile environment across the country.
Chances are that Israel’s political crises will continue to be large. The coalitions would gather, and fall again soon; politicians continue to move to the right, even if they declare that they are members of other ideological camps. Israel’s political instability is now common, not the exception.
In an interview with CNN, Yohanan Plesner, a former Knesset member, said the problems are related to Israel’s need for “electoral and constitutional reforms, such as making any attempt to start early elections dependent to a two-thirds majority in parliament and amending current law calling for new elections when a budget fails. “
What Israelis refuse to face is the fact that far -right, extremist -dominated governments are inherently unstable. Even if a supposedly centered or even leftist prime minister finds himself at the helm of government, the results will not change when the Knesset – in fact, most of the country – is run militaristic, chauvinistic and colonial. that thought.
- Ramzy Baroud has been writing about the Middle East for over 20 years. He is an internationally syndicated columnist, a media consultant, an author of several books, and the founder of PalestineChronicle.com. Twitter: @RamzyBaroud
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